You may be happy at the thought of using point of sale software in your retail business. You may even be excited at the thought of being able to access the software for free on the Internet. Then, the only concern you might have is whether the freely available software is any good. That is a good point but, due to research that done in this regard, many of these free software apps or packages are state of the art and robust for a large part of the retail environment. As you know, it would be almost impossible to design one point of sale system that would successfully suit every type of retail business. You, the business owner, would need to put in quite a bit of effort and time to establish exactly what your requirements are before even thinking of accessing the free software.
Assessing the Business Requirements
To enhance your business by using any point of sale system, free or costly, would entail analyzing the inventory control, inventory procurement, sales and purchase procedures required, eCommerce interaction required, cash control requirements, and general accounting and record keeping requirements, specifically for your business. As with many business decisions, this is quite a task but, with a view to enhancing your business, improving functionality, and improving your professional image in the retail sector, it surely is worth it. Especially when you consider that you can get free POS software. In general, many of these systems are compatible with most common operating systems, but you will need to make sure of it according to your system requirements and those in use at the moment.
Another important factor you will need to take into account is what hardware you will require in terms of cash registers and computers to network the whole system together. Perhaps using cloud computing would be another option whereby data storage and data access or retrieval would not reside on site as such. This is an exciting development in the eCommerce environment as it would also facilitate less risk in system crashes and loss of data.
Check with Fellow Retail Business Owners
Before making any decisions on which free POS system to use, first speak to fellow retail business owners regarding what systems they have in use. Find out these critical facts:
- Which systems are they using?
- Why are they using that particular POS system?
- What hours are the technicians available?
- What benefits have they gained from using their system?
- What have been the downfalls or difficulties with it?
- Who is the supplier and what is their website address?
- What did the POS software cost them to purchase and install?
- How dependable is the system’s support base and support staff?
- Were the staff easy to train and how much did it cost?
- What is the security infrastructure of the system and its stability?
- What recommendations can they make to you?
What POS Software is Available and How to Access it
You will find many sites that offer free point of sale software packages on the Internet. Be careful of what is being advertised though as often you may find a website that offers free download of software and applications, but the software itself is not free; only the download is free. According to specialists in this field, you can get free POS software from the many open source software providers like Softronic, who has around 20 POS software packages available. Alternately, if free is not the way to go to satisfy your needs, then there are many POS systems that are for sale. Some of these are highly advanced and offer great functionality, but generally, for a small- to medium-sized business, there are good free systems available.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.